August 2012 Newsletter

Click here for printable PDF version

President:  Pam Felgenhauer

1st VP:      Rick Greenwell

2nd VP:     Donald Flanagan

Treasurer: Wendy Greenwell

Secretary: Randy Domingos

Board Members:

Joe Artes
Mike Linville
Ed Marr
Trevor Niarchos

Backcountry Glory


Calendar of Events

Club Picnic
Saturday, August 18th, 11:00
Dos Picos Park, Ramona

General Membership and Board Meeting
Wednesday, September 12, 7:00PM
Animal Medical Center
600 Broadway, El Cajon

September Training Day
Saturday, September 15, 8:00AM
Prado dog training park
Chino Hills, CA

NAHRA Hunt Test, Hosted by IVRC
Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23
Prado dog training park
Chino Hills, CA

SDSDC Garage Sale

Our thanks to Ed Marr and those who donated their time and used gear to the club garage sale. They were able to sell nearly everything. The proceeds will go toward the club banquet in January- it's going to be good! There were also some other items generously donated which could not be sold at the garage sale, and the proceeds from this will benefit the banquet as well. Good job!

Canine Health Notes

Water Therapy for Your Dog

Earlier this year, Mike Linville's Kaia sustained a shoulder injury, and he has been putting her in physical therapy to help her recover in time for hunting season this Fall. He speaks highly of Tinassy's K9 Splash-R-Cise in Santee, which uses heated pools with water jets to provide no-impact exercise for the dogs. Their services include:

•Pre-operative strength building
•Post-operative recovery
•Geriatric support
•Weight management
•Relief of pain, stiffness, swelling, and arthritis
•And more.

For more information, send them an email, or visit

The Board of Directors and General Meeting Report

SDSDC June 13, 2012 Minutes

Board members Present were Pam Felgenhauer, Randy Domingos, Donald Flanagan, Joe Artes, Ed Marr, Rick and Wendy Greenwell, Mike Linville. Also present were Mark Miller, Mary Sarmiento, Rafael Aguilar and Mike Moran. Trevor Niarchos was unable to attend.

Old Business

Bird Boxes
No update.

SDCWF meeting report
Duncan Hunter attended the SDCWF for a question and answer session.

Snake Clinic
Club made $337.50 net. Pam got a response from Greg Cox concerning snake aversion. Jacobs and Horn need to be targeted for updating law. Next meeting June 29th.

Gun Raffle
Mary went to Doug’s to check on guns but Doug will be gone soon. New owner may not be able to supply the gun. Raffle tickets are $52 for 50 Camo ones or 1000 plain ones for $40, 1000 printed for $75. A club member may need to purchase a gun and transfer it to the winner. Pam will go Friday to Discount Guns on Magnolia.

By Laws
Randy will email new by laws for vote for July meeting.

Donald published first newsletter and it came out great, will still need submissions from club members.

McCoy Ranch for training
Mary Sarmiento went and checked location. Looks like a nice winter/spring location but too many foxtails for summer/fall.

Safety Shoot
5 people only registered at this point. Randy - Re-send flyer for event. We need to know how many to order food. Event will be Sporting Clays.

Release of Liability
Ed Marr to work on the release.

Mark Miller attended meeting.

Frank Bell
Pam attended Frank Bells Memorial service.

New Business

Trailblazers Event
The Trailblazers event was a success. Thanks to Donald, Pam, John Segoria, Dan Denhart, Mike Linville. All volunteered, Gary Klingener donated Pheasant tails.

Was moved to Saturday Aug 11th. Catered BBQ meat may possibly be supplied by the club, potluck for the rest as usual. Pam is looking into the catering.

Garage sale for the Banquet items
Will be at Ed Marr’s place, Saturday, Aug 4th. Randy will advertise on Craig’s list and Ed is to check into a Pennysaver ad.

Wine Glasses
Wine glasses to be used as thanks and raffle items.

Package arrived for club membership. NAHRA Supplied a 30% discount for 1 Tri Tronics item. Club could buy 1 training device for club use or raffle the item at the Safety Shoot. Mary to look at what Tri Tronics items we might be interested in.

Server is old that it’s housed on Donald to look into having it moved. Update event photos pages is needed. Club address is Mary’s needs to be changed.

Training day at Raineys
OK, with shot records for the dogs, Wendy to check on an available date.

Treasurers report
$7120.31 currently in the bank.

SDSDC July 11, 2012 Minutes

Board members Present were Pam Felgenhauer, Rick Greenwell, Donald Flanagan, Randy Domingos, Wendy Greenwell, Ed Marr, Mike Linville. Also present was Mary Sarmiento. Trevor Niarchos and Joe Artes were unable to attend.

Old Business

Bird Boxes
No boxes have been sold yet on Craig’s List.

Safety Shoot
Made $140 for the event. Thanks to Rick and all the volunteers.

Ed supplied a release, and was approved.

Gun Raffle
Beretta 3901 approved. Pam and Randy to go in to Fine Firearms and secure the gun.

By Laws
With no further reviews the amended By Laws were approved.

Garage Sale
Randy is to send notice to members to collect items for sale. Members are to price items before they donate them.

Was moved to August 18th BBQ catering is being researched by Pam. Randy will update the club via email and club website. Wendy will work on the flier.

Mary’s address has been removed from all club pages. Site has been moved to a new server. Randy to choose pictures for albums.

Training at Rainey’s
Checked with Steve, required vac records, $10 – 15 per dogs. Too many foxtails at this time of year to train. Tabled for now.

Mark Miller was voted on and approved as a member.

New Business
No new business.

SDCWF Report
No update.

Treasurers Report
$7078.41 in the bank.

Wags and Brags

Congratulations to a new Master Hunter!
Biff Ellington's Misty has qualified as an AKC Master Hunter! Biff has worked very hard with her, and it has finally paid off. They ran some hunt tests up in Oregon, and came home with the orange ribbon and a title. Misty also earned her NAHRA Grand Master Hunting Retriever (GMHR) this past Memorial Day weekend. Keep up the good work!

In the Field

A Backcountry Buck Hunt
What happens when you don't do anything right?
by Donald Flanagan

In 2011, I applied for and received a tag for a rifle buck hunt in the Eastern Sierras. This was the same hunt I did back in 2003 or so, in which I was unsuccessful. On that particular trip, I spent a week scouting, and a week hunting, and never even saw a legal buck (although I saw over 100 does and spike bucks). In 2006, I applied for and received a tag for an archery hunt in the same area. On that hunt, I decided to backpack into the backcountry. I hiked in about six and a half miles over two days, and on the morning of the opening of the season, I was hot, mosquito-bitten, and had only seen does. I was discouraged, and started to hike out. I only went about a quarter mile when I met another hunter on his way in. He suggested that we hike the last mile to the end of the canyon. I agreed, and that evening, within just a few minutes of glassing, we spotted three legal bucks, including a large 3x3, and a small 4x4. The next morning, we saw those three, a couple forkies, and a black bear. We didn't end up getting any, but by the end of the trip we saw seventeen legal bucks. I learned some important lessons that week!

I decided after that trip to apply for the same hunt every year, but when I changed jobs, I agreed not to take any vacation time during the month of August, and the archery season there opens in mid-August every year. So I saved up my points for the lottery and put in for and drew a rifle tag.

In preparation for a backpacking and fishing trip last June, I had put quite a few miles on my shoes. But after that trip concluded, I focused on other things (like dog training), instead of my physical fitness. A word to the wise: when hiking into the backcountry, get into the best physical shape you can!

On the Thursday evening before the season opener (which was a Saturday morning), I began the drive northward, arriving at the town nearest my destination at a little after 11:00 AM. I got my wilderness permit from the ranger station, and headed for the trailhead. After missing my turn a couple times, I finally found it. I changed my clothes (leaving my wilderness permit in the car- oops), loaded up, and took off at about 1:00, hoping to get seven and a half miles back into the wilderness by nightfall- keeping in mind that in a deep canyon, sunset comes much sooner than it would in open terrain. I didn't really push all that hard, but by the time I got five and a half miles in, I was pretty tired, and my hips were sore.

The weather was very nice for hiking, but because of some reports of thundershowers the previous week, and the occasional dark cloud overhead, I was worried that I might get rained on. The scenery is stunning in this area. My heart fills with wonder every time I look at the trees, the river, the glaciers, and breathtaking rock formations.

I plodded along, step by step, thinking "every step I take this evening is one more I won't have to take in the dark tomorrow morning". At the end of the final meadow, about half a mile before the end of the canyon, I couldn't walk any further. My shoulders hurt, but that wasn't so bad. What were bad were the muscles in my hips, and the cramping in my legs. It was such a relief to put down my pack and set up camp. I had met a hiker who had spotted a bear that morning. Farther up the trail, I saw what looked like lion tracks. If they were from a dog, then that dog was HUGE, and didn't have nails. I made sure my gun was loaded that night before I went to bed.

I set my alarm clock to wake me up at a little after 4:00 AM the next morning. There was a bright moon all night, and all I could think was "the deer are going to be up all night eating, and be bedded down before daylight". Although I woke frequently, I didn't sleep too badly. It got cold though, especially when the wind blew. There was frost on the ground the next morning, so I think it got down to the low thirties.

When my alarm clock woke me the next morning, opening day of the season, I tested my joints and decided that I was still too sore to get up and walk up the last half mile in the dark. So I decided to sleep in, and do some glassing where I was camped. When I got up later and put on more warm clothes, the sky was clear, with a very light breeze occasionally. I tried to do some glassing, but the neat little tripod I bought from WalMart was made to hold a light camera, not a spotting scope- and it quickly broke in my hands. So I used my binoculars for a bit, but didn't even see a doe.

I lazed around camp a while, fiddled with trying to start a fire. If you've never tried it, it's pretty difficult- even with matches and a lighter. I ate a little bit, and slowly packed up camp. As I did so, I heard a string of four shots in the distance, back down the canyon. I was pretty discouraged at this point, being weary, sore, and not in the location I wanted to be in. I thought about hiking out. I thought "this is why I wrote a note to myself last time not to go alone". But I decided to hike to my original intended destination, and treat it as the beginning of my hunt. I would set up camp, and in the evening, I would glass the hillsides and ridge where we had seen the big bucks back in 2003.

I got started up the hill at about 10:00 or so, taking it very slowly, with lots of breaks to look around and rest. All I could think of was, "how am I going to make it up that ridge if I do see a big buck?" The ridge where the big bucks fed is probably 400-600 feet above the canyon floor, and steep. As I walked along, wearing my big, stupid-looking life-guard-style straw hat (another important lesson I learned in 2006: wear a wide-brimmed hat), a camo shirt, and tan nylon (swishy and noisy) pants, I tried to watch the hillsides whenever my hat didn't get in the way.

The behavior I observed in 2006 was that as soon as the sun touched the hillsides, the deer headed straight for their beds. So at 11:00 in the morning, I didn't expect to see anything, especially down low in the canyon floor.

As I came over a little rise, I saw a deer in the shadows of a thicket, about two hundred yards away across a stream. There was some thigh-high brush at my feet, so I got down, and took my big, stupid-looking hat off. I slowly raised my binoculars, and saw that I hadn't spooked the deer. It looked like a doe, and it was up and eating in the shade. Then I saw another, and in the shadows, I thought I could see antlers. Then another appeared, and it DEFINITELY had antlers, maybe a small 3x3. The other one looked good, too. I crouched down, laid the rifle on the ground, and then tried to ease out of my backpack. As I laid it down, it clanked against the barrel of the rifle! I thought "oh no! They're gonna take off, never to be seen again!" I stayed down and tried not to move for several minutes. I wanted to wait for ten minutes, at least, but I was too impatient.

I slowly rose up a bit, and tried to peek through the brush with my binoculars. I spotted movement- the deer were still in the thicket! I grabbed the rifle, and tried to move into a position offering a better shot. When I got to an opening in the brush, I felt exposed. I wasn't very comfortable with it, because there were at least 3 sets of eyes that could see me, and if I spooked one, they would all be gone. As I thought about what kind of shot I would take, I decided that a sitting shot would give me the most stable platform, unimpeded by the brush. I saw movement behind the trees, heading to the right. I swung around, and got into my sitting position,and opened the scope covers. I thought, "I'm going to shoot the first legal buck that comes out from behind that tree." A buck with a head full of antlers walked out! I put the crosshairs behind his shoulder and pulled the trigger, but that's when I realized my next mistake.

To Be Continued…

Around the Fire Hydrant

Newsletter Submissions:
To submit an article, brag, recipe or want ad to the SDSDC Newsletter please send an E-Mail to Donald Flanagan.

Training Opportunities:
Pam and Mary are holding obedience classes in Alpine, North County and Lakeside. Basic obedience for puppies and adults, behavior issues, rescued dogs, AKC Canine Good Citizen classes and Puppy Star classes. Also available for private in home lessons. Call for details 619-339-4801 or 619-442-5354 or email

Dog Portraits and other Art
Have your best friend and hunting partner immortalized in a commissioned painting. Visit the website of SDSDC member Ron Dotson. His work is now in private collections both nationally and internationally. If you are interested in any of his works or commissioning a painting, please contact him by e-mail or by phone at (619) 925-2606. 

Denise Rich is also an accomplished artist and club member.  Denise is also known as "The Official Happy Cow" artist. In 2006 she was commissioned by the California Milk Advisory Board to paint their famous Happy Cows of the Real California Milk campaign. In addition to cows, Denise paints dogs, pets, or really anything.  If you are interested in any of her works or commissioning a painting, please contact her at her studio at 619- 933-5935.  Or send her an e-mail.  Please visit her website to see some of her work.

Health Supplements for You and Your Dog!
Donna Sarmiento has a new business endeavour called Nature's Tails, distributing quality health products for the care, comfort, and well being of both you and your pets! These include calming, healing, and joint products for humans and dogs, as well as other edibles for your pets. Visit for more information.

FOR SALE: Command Leads and Leather Collars – Call Steve Sarmiento for details. 619-701-2089

FOR SALE: Bird Boxes - The club purchased several used bird boxes and we have some available for purchase by club members.  Cost is $20 per box.  These are the same orange transport boxes that we use for our events and sell new for over $70.  Contact Pam or Trevor for more info

FREE TO A GOOD HOME: Dan Denhart has donated a very nice pair of leather boots in size 11 1/2D that don't fit him. If you can use them, please contact Donald Flanagan.


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